Hugo von Hofmannsthal

(1 February 1874 – 15 July 1929 / Vienna)

King Cophetua - Poem by Hugo von Hofmannsthal

The crown falls out of his indolent hand; the crown that is his beautiful city of Arles with its high walls and ponds and square paved dams, with the large Roman arena and a great number of black bulls, with the church of St. Trophime and the Alyscams, with the little yellow houses at night with whores pale as candle wax behind small windows in narrow back streets, with the street corners and river banks attached to the intimations of his childhood, and his favorite diseases: fever and the shivers, and the rivers, once so precious to him, in the distance between rocky mountains under a black and yellow evening sky, and all the statues he loved for no reason, and distant views from the arena tower, and a dim idea of the pains of others, all that drops out of his hand and leaves him entirely alone.

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Rudyard Kipling


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 3, 2012

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